Doesn’t it make sense to learn to invest (some basics) before you start investing money for real? Maybe a course called investing 101 or personal investing would be helpful. Here this retired financial planner relates a story, and then points the new investor in the right direction so he or she does not start investing uninformed.In the dean’s office of one of the largest universities in America, I recently asked if they offered investing 101, personal investing, or any finance course where the student could learn to invest. “After all, we all need to start investing money someday, and it is much to one’s advantage to be informed vs. uninformed, isn’t it?” That was my response when told, “no, or at least I can’t find one” by the dean. I was informed that they had well over 50,000 current students enrolled and offered THOUSANDS of courses in the various colleges throughout the university. But he could find no course under the heading of personal investing or investing 101, and he was in charge of the curriculum.We spent about an hour together searching and were both laughing out loud at what WAS offered. How about a course in “the art of falling down”? It’s offered. Investing 101? Which college in the university would offer such a course? “The athletic department is real big here; maybe they could help”, I suggested. After all, professional football players make big money. They need to learn to invest money (in case their career is short) and should start investing early. I knew a few players when I was a financial planner, but like most folks they tend to procrastinate when the money is flowing in. They’re too busy earning it, and don’t have the time to learn to invest.The truth of the matter is that I don’t find it funny that it’s difficult to find a down-to earth practical course that most people could truly benefit from, because as a new investor you need to learn to invest money before you start investing for retirement or any other financial goal. As a new investor you may not be able to find a financial planner you can work with or afford. Even if you found one, do you really want to start investing money with him or her without first getting your feet wet in the basics of personal investing? Let’s start at the beginning.Before you get into financial concepts like asset allocation and strategy, you should first learn the very basics: investment characteristics. How can you compare various alternatives to determine which best suit your needs, financial goals and comfort level? In other words, you need to decide what you are really looking for. And you need a list of factors to consider before you start investing money. For example, do you have a long term goal like retirement, and are you willing to accept a moderate level of risk? If so, there are numerous investment alternatives to consider, and you can also get tax breaks.On the other hand, if you have a shorter term financial goal and might need access to your money at a moment’s notice, that’s a totally different picture. You need to match your financial wants and needs to the various alternatives that have characteristics best suited to your personal investing goals. There is no single best choice for every financial goal. It’s a matter of give and take. I have a list of 5 factors you must consider and a few other things you should consider before making a decision. This is basic investing 101. Whether you are a new investor or you’ve been at it for a while and have never really taken the time to learn to invest – you should learn the basics.This is the first in a series of investing 101 articles I plan to write. In my next article I plan to put my list of characteristics you need to consider before you start investing money in black and white. Don’t feel bad if you are an uniformed new investor (or a want to-be). Do something and learn to invest starting with the basics.Once you have a handle on a few basic financial concepts you can start investing with confidence. Once you learn to invest you can reach your financial goals. If you think I’m trying to build your confidence, you are right. Stay tuned to investing 101 as we get back to basics. No offense to anyone at one of THE largest universities in the country, but there’s a void out there and I plan to fill it.
Booking holidays used to be an incredibly laborious process. You first had to make a detailed survey of where you wanted to go, then scour pamphlets and other publications to find hotels, or book through costly travel agents. All this has changed though and now the internet allows you to find cheap flights and great hotels at the touch of a few buttons. In fact it is so easy to book holidays that you can actually do it from your phone.Many people now have mobile phones which can access the internet. This means that no matter where you are, you can investigate and even book a holiday. This is particularly good when it comes to researching a trip – you may be at coffee with a friend mulling over the idea of going abroad together. All you need to do is pull out your phone and you can look into flights, hotels, tours and all the other things that you need to discover in order to turn your idea into a reality. If you find what you are looking for there is nothing to stop you from booking that holiday right there and then.The internet has truly revolutionised every aspect of our lives. Booking and researching holidays and cheap airfares is now so incredibly easy and you can do it in a matter of minutes from your computer or mobile phone. Thankfully the days of pamphlets and telephone calls to airlines are well and truly behind us.We are provided flights from anywhere in the world to anywhere else.
Health Care reform has been a hot item starting prior to the most recent Presidential Election. The Obama Administration, has now moved Health Care Reform to the forefront of their agenda. Regardless of your political affiliation, the obvious facts are that costs have continually increased over the last decade. How should the problem(s) be resolved?The average person who favors government intervention believes that the reform needed is with Health Insurance. Be careful not to confuse Health Care Reform with Health Insurance Reform. The two issues should be completely different, but it seems the Obama Administration has focused their energies in solving the Health Care Issue by focusing on Health Insurance.While there have been few specific plans for the administration’s reform, many experts believe that the reform will involve a major involvement from the government. While there are factions in this nation that favor a “Nationalized Health-care System”, there is equal opposition. Unfortunately, the public divide seems to rest within the “class system”. A majority of those families and businesses in the upper-middle to upper class oppose a nationalized system, while the lower-middle to lower class favor a Nationalized Plan.I say to those that favor a Nationalized Plan, be wary of what you wish for! The problem with the divide actually resides with education and communication. Too often, those in the lower portion of the class system have been conditioned to believe the Insurance Companies are the big, bad profit mongers that cause your premiums to increase. Let’s be frank, insurance companies are in business to make money. However, if you take a look the profit margins within most Health Insurance Carriers, you will see that most are lucky to achieve a 10% profit.If the problem with our the “System” is not with the Health Insurance Carriers, then where should the blame go? Unfortunately, there is no one cause for the skyrocketing costs. Rather, there are multitude of issues that have caused our Health Care System to become the inefficient beast you see today. There is no one “magic” pill that will fix our system.If you take a step back and analyze our system as whole, you have to concur that we have the BEST Health Care Services in the world. If this were not the case, then why would the world’s wealthiest people fly around the world just to have their medical needs taken care in the United States? The fact is, wealthy people who live in countries with Nationalized Health Care Systems do not trust those Health Care Providers with routine procedures, much less the more complex ones.So if we can agree that the Health Care Professionals and Facilities are the best in the world, then you should further assume that those individuals providing that care are deserving of whatever money they make. For my part, I want the guy who is about to open my chest up to perform heart surgery to be paid like a surgeon, and not a garbage man. So how do we fix our system?The first thing is to focus on the real problem. The real problem is with the inefficiencies present in the system, not with the Insurance Industry. There are cost savings available through the efficiencies that can be made through the use of technology. By gaining the cost savings within the system itself, Health Care Providers (not the actual Professionals) do not have to charge as much money. That means the Health Insurance Carriers do not have to pay as much to the Providers. Guess what! That means the Health Insurance Carriers do not have to charge as much in premium. Finally, Joe & Jackie Blow do not have to pay as much for Health Insurance!President Obama, focus on the real problem of fixing our system, and Health Insurance Premiums will become more affordable.
When pursuing a professional career you can begin by learning about online health care schools and the training possibilities. Accredited higher education and distance learning programs can provide the training that is needed for you to pursue your dream occupation. Before selecting an online school to enroll in, you should make sure that you have obtained all the information necessary to choose the correct career training path. There are numerous possibilities when it comes to preparing for a future in health care.Option 1Associate degrees can be obtained through accredited online health care schools to help you pursue an entry level career. This level of training can be completed to help you enter into areas like health education, sciences, and more. Choosing to obtain an associate degree will help you learn a number of specialized skills by providing training in a number of topics. You can obtain this degree by completing two years of accredited schooling, or further your education by pursuing a higher degree.Option 2The second option that is available through online learning is a bachelor level degree. You can spend approximately four years training at this level. Accredited online health care schools can prepare you for work as a health information technician, physician assistant, and other occupations. The coursework that will be provided will depend on the path you choose to follow and the profession you decide to enter. Training can be continued at the master degree level if you wish.Option 3Pursuing a master degree in health care through an online school will provide you with a number of career prospects. You can learn to work in health information, physician assisting, public health, health sciences, and much more. In order to receive a degree at this level, you will need to complete a total of six years of training. Online training will cover different topics that are relevant to the career you will be entering into. You can study at the doctoral degree level once you receive a master level degree.Option 4The fourth option that is available to you in health care is to obtain an online doctorates degree. This can be done by choosing an accredited school or college and completing the required training. Training typically takes eight years for completion and can help you enter a career as a health information technician, educator, and medical professional, or other occupation. Accredited training through distance learning can help you gain the skills for success by allowing you to study various coursework at your convenience.The coursework that will be covered through online training can vary depending on the career and degree that you wish to pursue. There are a number of areas that must be covered for all levels of training and careers. You can study online for behavioral sciences, environmental health, nutrition, anatomy, and more. In the health care field some programs may require hands on training in addition to online schooling, due to the depth of the subject. Some hands on training may include the study of physical therapy, exercise, wound care, and more.When looking to receive a higher education you can enroll in an accredited online health care school or college. It is important to enroll in a program that is fully accredited by an agency like the Distance and Education Training Council ( http://www.detc.org/ ), to ensure that a quality education will be obtained. You can begin by looking into the different opportunities and learning more from the schools that offer training.DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.